Friday, July 26, 2013

Rowfant Club News

FABS in Cleveland, June 11-15, 2014

The Rowfant Club of Cleveland is pleased to host the 2014 FABS Book Tour & Symposium, sponsored by The Fellowship of American Bibliophilic Societies, June 11-15.  These annual book tours sponsored by FABS have become must attend events for many on their social calendars.  What bibliophile would pass up the opportunity to explore a city’s unique book culture, meeting fellow collectors, dealers and book professionals along the way?  For this year’s tour the venerable Rowfant Club (founded 1892), plays host as you and your friends explore Cleveland’s celebrated book culture.

Thirty rooms have been reserved for us at the historic Glidden House, a former “robber baron” mansion, turned full-service boutique hotel, located in the heart of Cleveland’s cultural district known as University Circle.   With its legendary hospitality and charm, this hotel will serve us well as base camp during our bibliophilic adventure.

We begin our adventure by exploring the many special collections and rare book libraries found within a short distance of our hotel.  The hunt for rare books will be an easy one, as area museums and universities welcome FABS members to tour their renowned collections.  Lovers of art books will delight in visiting the IngallsLibrary at the Cleveland Museum of Art.  With over 450,000 art books, it is the third largest art research collection in the country.  Rare botanical books are on display in the recently renovated rare book room at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens Library.  Historical maps and manuscripts await us in The Western Reserve Historical SocietyLibrary.  Important books in science, medicine and technology are to be found in the Kelvin Smith Library of Case Western Reserve University.

Further afield, but well worth the trek, will be an excursion to the Oberlin College Library.  Situated in the small town of Oberlin about 45 minutes west of Cleveland, this historic liberal arts college is home to one of the finest undergraduate libraries in the country.  We will need the better part of a day to explore the many special collections in the History of the Book, Art & Architecture, Music, Religion, Philosophy, as well as more esoteric subjects such as Oberliniana.

Along our bibliophilic journey, we have amble opportunity to indulge in the many culinary delights Cleveland has to offer.  Join us, when the Rowfant Club opens its doors (and library) as they host us for dinner and a lecture in their “bookish” club house.  Fine food, fine books, and fine talks define this active book club which has been meeting thrice weekly for many decades. Our dinner speaker is a name well known in our book community, Paul Ruxin.  Paul has presented numerous talks on the book and the various ways that books and book collecting delight and inspire us.  Tour participants will also have the opportunity to view some of Cleveland’s finest private collections as collectors share their book collections with us.  In addition, plan to visit an exquisite antiquarian bookshop and also what is claimed to be the world’s largest used bookshop.

We hope our announcement has awakened the book adventurer in you.  Whether this is your very first FABS tour or whether you are a tour veteran, FABS Cleveland 2014 promises to be a bibliophilic adventure not to be missed.  We suggest you save the date as the event is limited to fifty attendees.  A day-by-day itinerary, costs and reservation information are forthcoming in the next FABS newsletter.

Please address your tour questions to Terry Shockey ( and use FABS’14 in your email subject line.

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